Taking a multi media approach, the new release from Maximo Park guitarist Duncan Lloyd, is possibly as varied as it is unique. Duncan caught up with Damian Robinson to explain the album’s concept, structure and visual support.
Outside Notion was well received by music lovers and critics, did that feedback make writing the follow up difficult?
It’s always good to hear when people have reacted well to an album and in turn that can give you a boost going forward.
Any difficulty stems from the challenges you set yourself & that comes from the desire to make something fresh and go somewhere you haven’t before but that’s no bad thing.
In terms of structure, this isn’t a standard ‘new release’, it contains material written throughout your life rather than new material written since your last album.
Yes that’s right, it’s a collection spanning from now back to around 2010. The idea came about when I received a message from Tom Rose at Reveal Records, he asked if I’d like to release a collection of my songs as part of the label after discovering it on Bandcamp.
I think the concept is close to the collections writers or poets often have, “The selected works of..….” , and it was fun to think of it in that sense. I felt the timing was good as I was in the process of releasing some experimental songs over lockdown, but it was pretty unfocused so having a fresh and exciting concept put in front of me helped to bring a real focus back in.
The production of the songs varies across the album. How did you think about, and subsequently, decide on the sound and style of the album?
If you’re creating stuff alone it’s often healthy to bounce your ideas off people you trust so organising the ebb and flow of the record was done very much with Tom Rose’s help. As most of my music was relatively new to him, he came at it with fresh ears, he started by listening to the album, Outside Notion & then delved deeper.
He has a great ear for which songs sit well next to each other, I guess that partly comes from him running a record shop. Even when the sound or style is super varied, the song order works and we’ve ended up with an album that is dynamic & eclectic whilst maintaining a thread that connects it all.
Your accompanying photos and pictures for every song offer huge context to the songs; why was working in a multi medium approach important to you with this album?
Recently I was listening to people talk about how the past few years have made them think about their lives, relating to what they’ve not done yet, what they would like to do or changes they would like to make. This has happened to a lot of us I think and it brought me back to thinking about a side of myself that I don’t really show & that is the painting side. My original ambition was to be an artist so in light of that it became important for me to paint again and in a sense helps connect the dots of who I am as an individual for this record.
When we were putting the songs together it was also suggested I use more of the paintings & photographs and that we tie it in furthermore with the releases and music. Tom Etherington (Penguin Books) brought it all together with a beautiful sleeve design & a poster of all the paintings combined. To be honest I feel lucky to be able to put something out like this and I hope by sharing it it can be an exciting new discovery for people.
Green Grows Devotion is released on 27th May.